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Reindeer? Caribou?

Caribou are large, wild, elk-like animals found in Arctic North America from Alaska to Greenland. In northern Eurasia, the same species (Rangifer tarandus) is semi-domesticated and they are called "reindeer".

Caribou and reindeer are the only deer where both cows and bulls have antlers. The large antlers of a mature bull can reach 4 feet / 1.2 meters in width, but they're shed in early winter. Cows keep their antlers until calving time in June, and that formidable "rack" allows them to claim and defend the best feeding areas in late winter when they need high quality food. Remember - pregnant cows are eating for two!

There are three types, or subspecies, of caribou with matching groups for reindeer:

1. Peary caribou / Marine reindeer: This small caribou is the least plentiful. They spend the entire year on the treeless tundra or islands near the Arctic coast.

2. Barren ground caribou / Tundra reindeer: The most plentiful and the ones forming the large herds that each year migrate between the treeline and coastal plains.

3. Woodland or mountain caribou / Forest reindeer: They do not form vast herds or make extensive migrations. Instead, they form smaller groups that move between the northern forests and open mountains.

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Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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